This summer I had my second child and three weeks later moved to Salt Lake City. These events brought about some lifestyle changes. There are no more daily trips across a park to see my sister. She doesn't pop over to play with Andrea and watch our favorite shows together. We can't walk to the grocery store and drown sorrows over a 30 cent soda on hot afternoons while talking about celebrities and my bodily functions. Because I have children and am a full-time milk-making machine, Tessa and I don't get much alone time even when I do venture down into her valley. I miss her a lot. This last week, through a series of text messages, I began to see how hard this move and my child bearing has been on her. Though her difficult and messy teenage years her best friend hasn't been able to spend countless hours at the mall with her. She hasn't been able to join her for concerts and fan girl Zain Tomlinson Styles. She's not available for frequent weekend sleepovers and late night nail painting. She's at home scraping boogers off the walls and wiping poopy bottoms.
Watching me mother has even inspired Tessa to wait a LONG time to have very few children. I guess I don't always make motherhood look very glamorous. But there is something I want her to know. Even though I don't enjoy cleaning up throw up or scraping feces out of panties, frequent night wakings make me feel like I'm losing my mind, and I've yet to find anything that compares to the emotional strain my children put me under, this is the best job in the world.
Where else could I receive daily eskimo kisses, hear Andrea's little voice calling my name, view Sam's cheesy grins, and consume such fine dining (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches)? Where else could I feel the satisfaction of cleaning and dressing my little brood? And when everyone is clean and calm, there is the joy of reciting from memory an entire collection of children's books over the noise of toddler giggles and baby coos that can't be found in an office somewhere.
Then there is after bedtime when the house is dark and quiet. It might seem strange that one of the things that I love about motherhood is shutting my children away in dark rooms and sitting by myself with a tall drink of apple juice. However, there is an indescribable feeling of accomplishment at the end of a long day that comes from keeping two people alive. Especially when those two people have done everything in their power to provoke homicide.
This little family of mine is hard work, but I know what I'm doing is valuable beyond measure. I wouldn't give up time with my sister for anything less important. I hope some day she'll understand.
(I hope Andrea will be a good babysitter to repay Tessa for the countless hours she's performed that service for me. And that way Tessa and I may actually be able to do some child-free activities in the distant future.)